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Update No. 96/4 on ICRC activities in Zaire

13-11-1996 Operational Update

The major breakthrough necessary for humanitarian aid to gain access to over one million people affected by the ongoing conflict in eastern Zaire has still not been achieved. However, efforts at international level are underway to find a solution in the coming days.

 Ongoing ICRC activities  

Today, the ICRC is restaffing its subdelegation in Goma with 2 expatriates. Thirty five of its local employees and volunteers of the Zairian Red Cross, who remained active during the past few days, have been given emergency medical supplies for the hospital in Goma.

During the past few days, the ICRC held talks in Bukavu with the leadership of the rebels on protection and assistance in areas controlled by them. Local employees of the ICRC, the International Federation and the Zairian Red Cross have also maintained Red Cross activities in Bukavu with what limited means are available. The subdelegation is expected to be restaffed and resupplied in the days ahead.

The ICRC has assisted the district hospital in Maweni, Tanzania, which has already received 23 wounded refugees who crossed Lake Tanganyika, and is prepared to provide ad-hoc non-food assistance for refugees arriving in Kigoma, Tanzania, if needed. In Kibuye, Rwanda, the ICRC is also helping, on an ad-hoc basis, to settle in a new camp several thousand Banyarwandan refugees who used to live in a camp close to the Zairian border in Gisenyi, Rwanda.

An ICRC office has been opened in Kisangani, which will play a pivotal role as a logistical base.

In Kinshasa, the ICRC w as able to visit prisons and to see detainees belonging to vulnerable minorities.

The ICRC is also monitoring the situation of persons crossing to Brazzaville, Congo. Several hundred people have been assisted by the Congolese Red Cross, the International Federation and the ICRC.

In Nairobi, an ICRC chartered C-130 Hercules transport plane loaded with relief goods is ready to take off as soon as the relevant authorizations are obtained in Zaire.

 Coordination of humanitarian operations  

Today, the ICRC is attending a humanitarian coordination meeting organized in Geneva by the UNDHA where the key organizations are holding urgent talks on their plans of action. Coordination meetings held in the field, in Kinshasa, in Nairobi, in Kigali and in any other locations are attended by the ICRC heads of delegation.